My Life as a Dog

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My 7-year-old son believes in reincarnation, so I asked him what he would like to come back as in his next life.

“Probably a dog,”  he said nonchalantly. “Or Santa Claus.”

After a bit of contemplation, I realized how wise this response was. We often think that humans are at the top of the reincarnation ladder, but this isn’t necessarily true. Dog is God spelled backwards.

“If you can remain perfectly calm in traffic…

If you see others succeed without a tinge of jealousy,

If you can love everyone around you unconditionally,

If you can always be cheerful just where you are,

You are probably…

A Dog!”

I’m starting to think that dogs are far more enlightened than even high-vibration spiritual masters. Our two Shi Tzus are definitely the two most compassionate and equanimous members of our household.

When my sons are crying, both my dogs will start to moan and howl in unison with the cries. When I had a tumor, Skye and Jax would come lie on my belly when I was sleeping. They could sense my pain and would just be with me.

These dogs spend most of their day sitting in silence. One could argue that they meditate over 5 hours a day. They always welcome me with open paws when I return after a long day and never seem to hold any grudges, even when I forget to feed them.

I think my son was intuitively sensing into a higher consciousness. Even his answer about Santa Claus can be seen as refined.

Santa Clause spreads joy and gives generously without any expectation of getting anything in return. If he was a Buddhist, he would be what we call a Bodhisattva—a being that compassionately refrains from enlightenment in order to save others. Was my son saying that he wants to come back as a Bodhisattva?

A dog or a Bodhisattva, those are two noble intentions. Amazing how simple and wise young children can be.

What would you come back as in your next life if you had the opportunity?

 

 

 

 

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Compassion for Courage: Dr. Rick Hanson

Dr. Rick Hanson, author of the New York Times best seller Hardwiring Happiness, is one of my favorite teachers. Recently, I had the pleasure of interviewing Dr. Hanson for The Compassion Interviews Series. This interview was one of the most enjoyable, enlightening, and useful interviews I have ever done. I guarantee that if you listen to and practice Dr. Hanson’s advice, your happiness will grow exponentially.

In the full interview, we discuss:

  • How to “wake down” from deadness, numbness, or oppression
  • How compassion is a strength that develops courage
  • The difference between wanting and liking, and how this difference can make your life heaven or hell
  • How to aspire without attachment
  • How Dr. Hanson is a real-life version of Ender from Ender’s Game

For the complete interview visit: http://peaceinrelationships.com/the-compassion-interviews-dr-rick-hanson/

For more Compassion Interviews, including Thich Nhat Hanh, visit: http://peaceinrelationships.com/the-compassion-interviews/

Compassion Can Make You More Attractive–Thich Nhat Hanh Re-load

A week ago, I published an article about a conversation I had with Thich Nhat Hanh. Thanks to the generosity of Dr. James Doty and the Center for Compassion and Altruism Research and Education (CCARE) at Stanford University, I am able to share the video of this short interview with you. To see the whole Conversation on Compassion with Thich Nhat Hanh go to: http://ccare.stanford.edu/videos/conversations-on-compassion-thich-nhat-hanh/

For more interviews with compassionate men visit http://peaceinrelationships.com/offerings/

A Morning of Clarity

Hey Peacemakers,
I’m back from the 10 day meditation retreat. Here is a video about something I experienced at the retreat. I know posting a long video to youtube is an act full of ego, but I believe that this vision needs to be shared.

 

If you don’t want to watch the video, here are the highlights:

  • We are all connected
  • Jodie Foster and Carl Sagan are/were prophets
  • Time is a vibration
  • The purpose of life is to get “in tune” with our Buddha Nature and Christ Consciousness
  • Once in tune we can serve as tuning forks for others
  • Serving others is the highest form of humanity
  • Too much meditation can cause severe hallucinations

I want to thank Rarasaur and DJMatticus for keeping the light on while I was meditating. I loved having some SoCal flavor on Everydaygurus. If you enjoyed their wisdom and love please let them know by commenting on their blogs.

May you be free from suffering. May you find peace and joy. {{{hugs}}} Kozo

 

Yoda’s Secret of Compassion

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For over three decades, I read the Dalai Lama’s books on compassion, attended lectures by Thich Nhat Hanh, and even did a week long Metta meditation in Sri Lanka, yet I was unable to feel compassion on a daily basis. Looking at the state of the world today, I don’t think I was alone in this inability to practice compassion.

After countless broken relationships and on the verge of divorce at the age of 47, I finally realized what it meant to have compassion. I learned that compassion requires empathy. We can’t sympathize with the misfortune of others if we are unable to step into their shoes and understand their thoughts and feelings. Continue reading

Conquer Fear to End Suffering

In the middle of the night, my 3 year old son started screaming, “No, No, No.” After waking from a nightmare, he was inconsolable. “I want something,” he babbled for half an hour. Water, blankets, stuffed animals, Mommy–nothing could make him stop crying. In my half-awake state, I realized that he was teaching me about  Buddhism.Yoda buddha Continue reading

Weekly Photo Challenge: Broken Buddha

“The saints of God dare to be ordinary.”–Hugh Prather

A friend of mine who owned an import/export shop gave me a large Buddha statue that had been damaged irreparably in shipping. Like everything else I receive for free, I didn’t give it much thought. When I was forced to live in my car, I left the statue with my mother who placed it on her front porch in the wind and rain like an Asian garden gnome. Years later, this battered moss covered Buddha became one of my prized possessions. Although my wife and I own other Buddha statues, this broken Buddha is still my favorite.

For me this faded sea green Buddha reminds me of the real Shakyamuni Buddha. Although many depictions of the Awakened One are artistically crafted in gold, we often forget that Siddhartha Gautama was a broken man right before he attained enlightenment. A former prince, Siddhartha abandoned his wife and newborn son to pursue a spiritual life as an ascetic. Continue reading